When Extreme E was running its inaugural season in 2021, some changes to the race format were made midseason to accommodate developments that may not have been anticipated prior to the first round. Now that there is a year of experience under its belt, the series has revealed a modified system for qualifying and points ahead of the 2022 kickoff.
Perhaps the most notable change comes to Saturday qualifying, where single-car qualifying has formally been dropped in favour of two heat races of five cars each. Qualifying is split into two rounds.
A random draw determines which heat a team will be placed within. The first-, third-, and fifth-place finishers in Heat #1 and second and fourth in Heat #2 are then put in the first heat in the second round, while the same setup but inverted takes place for the other.
The winner of each heat gets five points, second gets four, and so on which go towards a cumulative heat points total called the “Intermediate Classification”. The total points from the two heats set the grids for the semi-finals and Crazy Race for Sunday. First, fourth, and fifth in the Classification are placed in Semi-Final #1; second, third, and sixth in Semi-Final #2; and seventh to tenth are in the Crazy Race. If there is a tie, whoever sets the fastest time in the Continental Traction Challenge has the advantage. The top two in each Semi-Final and the Crazy Race winner move on to the Final.
The points payout is slightly tweaked from 2021: while the winner still receives twenty-five points, second gets eighteen instead of nineteen while third’s is reduced from eighteen to fifteen. Fourth and fifth respectively get twelve and ten (previously fifteen and twelve). Among the entries who did not make the Final, sixth place is the third-place finisher in either Semi-Final with the better Traction Challenge time and gets eight points (from ten). The adjusted points scale means seven through ninth go from eight, six, and four points to six, four, and two. Tenth place, which was not required in 2021 as there were only nine teams (every team from last season returns while McLaren XE is a new addition), is given one point.
Like in 2021, rounds are two laps long with each team’s driver getting one lap in the cockpit.
“The Series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to ‘Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally,'” proclaims a series statement. “Designed to put driver performance firmly in focus, the five X Prix of Extreme E Season 2 will feature the pressure of five car races for qualifying on Day One.”
The 2022 season begins on 19/20 February with the Desert X Prix in Neom, Saudi Arabia.